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Wednesday Blog Watch: Newish Sites to Check Out

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A new year, a new chance to take a look at the local music/nightlife blogosphere. At the end of 2009, things looked bleak -- many blogs had been neglected or completely abandoned. Maybe the new year will push people back towards it. Here are three sites worth checking out.

*If you're older than, say, 24, you have probably had little reason to discover Straight Up Random. But for the all-ages set, this is a definitive blog guide to all upcoming pop-punk and post-post-post-hardcore shows in South Florida. There are local show reviews, album reviews, and constant tab-keeping on who's getting signed and who's going on tour. They score extra points for a clean layout and surprisingly good grammar and spelling. Here's their list of "bands you need to know for 2010" (insert: "if you care about the kinds of bands featured in Alternative Press"). Most of the "unsigned and up-and-coming bands" listed at the end are, as expected, from around here.

*Make sure you're on a fast connection if you load up life.is, a sleekly designed but flash-heavy site based in Miami, but with a wider cultural scope. The site covers music, art, fashion, and technology, with two other sections labeled "random" and videos;" it's somewhere between a blog and a webzine. The site is carefully curated, and although it could be updated more, it's got promise. Check out this recent entry in which contributor Andy Blazquez shares a little song from Broken Bells, a new project by Danger Mouse and James Mercer from the Shins.

*Finally, while it doesn't get updated as much as I would hope, Wasabi Fashion Kult has a fun, pink-pink-pink layout and an interesting concept. Besides coverage of the local scene, contributors share these interesting, music-inspired thematic collages of fashion and make-up goodies, which they post on the fashion site Polyvore. Check out this one called "Ode to Joy," in which contributor Veronica Gessa transposes an Ian Curtis print dress with a $308 trench.

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